We take a look at 5 reasons why you should seriously consider adding the M-Audio Oxygen USB MIDI 4th generation keyboard range to your studio
Whether you’re a complete beginner to the world of electronic music production or you’re in need of an easy to use USB MIDI controller that will improve workflow and get all those creative juices flowing, the M-Audio Oxygen USB Midi MK IV Keyboard range is a great choice. Packed full of features and designed for the stage and studio musician, you’ll find it difficult to get hold of a more impressive USB MIDI keyboard with as much functionality in this budget friendly price bracket.
The 4th generation range includes 3 different setups with either 25, 49 or 61 keys:
- M-Audio Oxygen 25 4G USB MIDI Keyboard
- M-Audio Oxygen 49 4G USB MIDI Keyboard
- M-Audio Oxygen 61 4G USB MIDI Keyboard
So today Gaz from PMT Newcastle offers up 5 reasons why you need the M-Audio Oxygen USB MIDI keyboard range in your studio or live set up with this handy video. We also go into further detail below.
1. A feature-rich controller that will benefit your workflow
Whether you’re a producer or a home studio enthusiast, you’ll find that the M-Audio Oxygen USB MIDI keyboard particularly useful thanks to the sheer number of features inherent within the unit.
The M-Audio Oxygen has been designed to improve your workflow and make your life easier in the studio. The controller utilises handy faders that can control volumes, track levels etc. on the fly and the hard wearing, smooth rotary knobs allow you to control effects, panning, VST plugin effects and a world of parameters. However, the addition of the velocity sensitive backlit drum pads allow for even more creativity as you can sample beats, sounds or use any pre-recorded samples you may already have in a live or studio environment.
The M-Audio Oxygen USB MIDI keyboard range also feature transport controls which allow you to flit between your tracks and record music on the fly, making it a fantastic tool for those who need a keyboard workstation on a budget.
However, there’s more than just the physical features that we love. The M-Audio Oxygen also features an intuitive Auto-Map function which will allow you to Auto-Map your unit to almost every DAW available including Ableton, GarageBand, Logic, Pro Tools etc. This Auto Map allows you to plug in and play and start creating music instantly and control tracks and effects as well as program beats via your keyboard. Gaz talks about how easy it is to get this started at 1:36. But all you have to do is hit the “Auto” button and you’re pretty much good to go.
Whether you’re using it live or in the studio – everything you need is at the tip of your fingers.
2. Three different models to choose from
Your studio and live set up will be different to everyone else’s, so the team at M-Audio have created 3 different versions of the M-Audio Oxygen. For those with a static studio or a larger live set up, the M-Audio Oxygen 61 is ideal – especially if you need an extended range of octaves.
There’s also a 49 key version, aptly titled the M-Audio Oxygen 49, which is slightly smaller and ideal for a smaller studio or touring bands. Finally, there’s the ultra-portable and massively powerful 25 key version called (you guessed it!) the M-Audio Oxygen 25. This slimline version is easily carried around with you, placed in your backpack and fits easily on most desks – perfect for the home studio owner, musician on the move and live performer who doesn’t want to take up too much room on stage.
With all the versions, you have the same amount of power, software integration and intuitive control, just a smaller number of keys and a few less faders here and there. So, make sure to choose the right one for your needs.
Each keyboard is bus powered too, so there’s no need for a power supply – ideal for saving room and for those who have limited plug sockets! They simply draw the power required from your computer or laptop.
3. Software included & VIP ready
The M-Audio Oxygen USB MIDI keyboard range is also ideal for those just starting out in the world of music production thanks to the software package included with the unit. Starting your own studio can be a little daunting and figuring out which DAW or software to get hold of can sometimes be a minefield.
Thankfully, the team at M-Audio have made it easy by including all the software you need to get up and running.
Each of the M-Audio Oxygen USB MIDI controllers come with a copy of Ableton live Lite which is more than enough for you to track your songs and get mixes on the go. You also get a huge amount of sounds in the sample library allowing you to enjoy a variety of different sounds and instruments. A vast majority of professional musicians and studio users choose Ableton Live for their recordings, so you actually get a great head start into the world of electronic music production with this package.
You also get some fantastic plug in bundles, including synthesizers, keys and more – perfect for getting to grips with virtual instruments and learning how to manipulate different parameters inside your software. The Oxygen range have been designed for you to explore all aspects of electronic music production, but before you start thinking “oh these are just for beginners” they’re so much more. These USB MIDI keyboards have been designed for professionals and will work with virtually any music production software package and utilise all the expansion packs and plug ins you may have.
A new VIP 3.0 update released in September 2017 has also been included, such as the VIPMS (VIP Native Plugin Map Standard) – so that 3rd party VST and Effect developers can now develop their own personal plugin maps. In addition, you can utilise the intuitive MIDI learn functionality which seamlessly maps the Oxygen’s controls to parameters within your software. There’s also Pad Chord Progressions which allows you to play preset chord progressions and the awesome Key Control modes which let you play scales and harmonised chords.
4. Incredible value for money
High quality doesn’t always have to mean a higher price tag. Putting a studio together can be a nightmare if you’re on a budget, so the team at M-Audio have ensured that the Oxygen range is completely affordable. The inclusion of Ableton Live Lite and all the associated effects, sounds and functionality features provide you with a huge amount of control for a small investment, making these USB MIDI keyboard controllers perfect for those on a budget. You can create high quality recordings instantly and enjoy superior control thanks to the hardwearing keyboard and extremely useful faders, rotary knobs and backlit velocity sensitive trigger pads.
5. They’re easy to use
If you’re just starting out in the world of music production, or you just want something extremely easy to use in the studio or on stage, the M-Audio Oxygen range is ideal if you just want to get started straight away. In addition, the controller and included software are designed for “plug–in and play” functionality so they won’t stress out your computer as the M-Audio oxygen is not CPU intensive.
If you are brand new to the world of producing music, having to get to grips with a world of different programs, settings and mapping techniques etc. might make you want to give up before you’ve even started. However, the M-Audio oxygen USB MIDI controller keyboards and Ableton Live Lite strip everything back to the essentials (but still keep a few extras too!) so, you can learn quickly without being overwhelmed, or just get stuck in without having to do long installs. They are the true player’s controller keyboard designed for heavy use and musicians on the go.